The Napoleonic Wars continued the Wars of the French Revolution. Great Britain and France fought for European supremacy and treated weaker powers heavy-handedly. The United States attempted to remain neutral during the Napoleonic period, but eventually became embroiled in the European conflicts, leading to the War of 1812 against Great Britain.
The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte seized power in 1799 after overthrowing the French revolutionary government. During this time, U.S. and French negotiators were concluding negotiations to end the Quasi-War with France. In 1802, Napoleon ended ten years of warfare with Great Britain under the Peace of Amiens. He used this opportunity to attempt to crush the Haitian Revolution, but the army he sent met with defeat. Napoleon had also re-obtained the North American province of Louisiana from Spain in 1800. However, the loss of Haiti made Louisiana strategically undesirable, and with war again on the horizon with Great Britain, Napoleon was willing to agree to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.